Aish Kodesh 04/22/10 Achrei Mot Kedoshim, Rabbi Henoch Dov Hoffman
Topics Moshe and discipline
, Kinyon ha torah
, Pirkei Avos
, balance in Moshe
, Yom Kippur
, Nadab and Avihu
, Holy of Holies
, stumbling block
, bedtime Shmah
This is the yartzeit of the mother of Rabbi Hoffman and he told some stories about her life. She was one vote short on getting a bill passed to get Russia to release the Jews in exchange for getting the most favored nation status.
What was the most disciplined moment in the life of Moshe?
1. Spending forty years in the desert.
2. When he came back down the mountain although he wanted to stay in Shamayim studying.
3. Letting his sons study with Yitro.
4. Letting go of going to Eretz Yisrael.
5. Receiving the Torah, which he received from the mount of gevurah.
6. Going back to Egypt: he had spent 60 years as a solitary mystic, his goal was to talk with HaShem, which he finally achieved at the Burning Bush. He did not have a good feeling about the Jews. The Midrash says it was like going into a cave to meet a dragon.
7. The Gevurah which Tzipporah had when she circumcised the baby.
The word âneighborâ is the same as the word for âevil.â Love your evil as yourself.
Gevurah is the ability to receive. The ultimate unselfishness is building a vessel, such as for Shabbos.
Shabbos is malchut since it contains everything, but it is the ultimate gevurah. It involves creating boundaries. [TRF: is it also Hod of Hod?] Netzach: we are the most enduring people in the world, we have lasted so long because of Shabbos.
Kinyon ha Torah joins business ethics with the highest ideals. Kinyon: the healing of Cain, who tried to buy the love of HaShem. HaShem says stop and receive the love. You cannot talk Torah when the practical buy and sell of the people around you is dishonest.
In Pirkei Avos (The Ethics of the Fathers) it says to limit sleep, work, sex, words. Have patience (today). Patience: erech ha paiyin: a long nose. Angir charon aff: red/short nose.
Story about a Jew hiding in a bunker with his family behind a false wall. The SS troops came in with dogs. He saw another man and remembered he owed him 5 rubles, ran over and paid him. He did not want to die a debtor.
Lift the Torah when you say the morning blessing Natain ha Torah. It is not good enough for G*d to give Torah; we have to acquire it. Gambling is theft because there is no kinyon because the gambler does not intend to lose the money.
Kinyon for today is lav tov; you have to have a good heart to acquire Torah. Teferet of Netzach.
Where do you see balance in the life of Moshe?
1. Prepping Aaron to be the Kohan Godol.
2. Building the Mishkan and accepting from everyone what they had to give.
3. The womb is balanced, TeferetâMoshe submitting to the process of each plague.
4. Appointing Joshua to lead the people.
5. Hitting the rock out of love of the Jewish people to show them that he, too, could fall short, even though it resulted in his not entering the Promised Land.
6. Breaking the Tablets: balance of love and understanding. Turning from his anger to talk to G*d with a good heart and saying if you erase them from Your Book, erase me.
The sons of Aaron invented Yom Kippur by carrying their mistake to G*d. Their deaths were a mistake and also a korbon. The purpose of the Mishkan was to bring our mistakes to G*d and do teshuva. Our goal not to avoid making mistakes.
Korbon means coming close, not sacrifice. The idea of giving up something for G*d is not our religion. Korbon, battle and cold make a triad, with battle being the synthesis.
The main part of Yom Kippur was the scapegoat. Jews were the scapegoats of the Nazis. We gave so much to Germany: Freud, Marx, Mendelsohn, Einstein, Fritz Perls.
The scapegoat is the epitome of the worst choices which human beings came make. Love your dark side (neighbor) as yourself or you will scapegoat. This is the worst choice. We invented the word scapegoat. Scapegoating implies not knowing. We need to teach this Torah to the whole world or we will die again. The stakes are high.
Bias in the media starts with the language which is used. English is a Xtian language and it does not convey Jewish thoughts.
Chate are transgressions which are unintentional and where we are most likely to rationalized. The first letter is the closed heart. The open heart is the hey. Hey is also the fifth day of creation and it is for Hod, the fifth sephera.
Pharaoh said the same thing as Hitler: they will join/they did join with our enemies. The Jews supported England and France, resulting in the Versailles Treaty.
Burning the incense in the Holy of Holies. The name of G*d said by the Kohane. The Kohane Godol had to have pure kavanah. If he was a little bit defective, he died. He had to go into a different dimension because there was no room the Holy of Holies. The holiest place was the space between the cherubim.
Pesach Jews do not eat after the afikomen. The Wise Son is over-intellectualizing, so he has to search for it.
Chrubim are symbols of collaboration. They form the boundaries of the space where G*d speaks. King David said in the Psalms: Your Torah is in my intestines. Eat the bread of faith, put it in your deepest place and keep it for the rest of the year. The Dalai Lama taught this. The thing I like best about the Jewish religion is the afikomen. Take it in. I am a slave in Egypt. This is crossing the Red Sea every Passover. Passover is the first holiday of the year; eat matzo; taste that faith.
[TRF: the parsha starts with atonement and ends with transgressions. This is counterintuitive.]
Current financial scandal: a company bundles mortgages they know will fail, sold them to the public and then bet they would fail. This is the Laban side of every Jew, our cleverness with money.
Pay workers on time.
Do not curse the deaf.
Do not place a stumbling block in front of the blind
1. Helping them might be enabling.
2. Bringing an alcoholic a bottle of wine.
3. If someone quits smoking and you bring cigarettes into the room.
4. Recovering alcoholics on Shabbos: ask permission to serve wine.
5. Keeping a child at home, even if the child is retarded.
6. Letting someone copy on a test.
7. Leaving valuables lying around.
8. Helping a beggar: money might be poison, it may be better to give a protein bar or drive him to a place where he can find work. Sometimes letting him fall down is better.
Do not favor the poor: the poison of welfare. Do not honor the great. This is balance.
Do not gossip and do not stand aside (thinking that you are avoiding gossip): these two must be balanced against each ogther. The root of gossip is anger, taking glee in the problems of the other. Pinchas took action with clarity of mind. When in doubt, clarify: what is it to G*d, to community, to self.
We say the Shmah over our bed, the place of sex, dreams, nightmares, to unify our nighttime life with our daytime life.
Remember the day of your death, it helps you set priorities.
Stealing is having a word of Torah and not sharing it.
Take nine on the buy and give 11 on the sell.
Sacred Fire page 84.
Yohannen ben Zakki: Akiva and the other people who wrote the Mishna were his disciples.
We do not study Torah in a cemetery in order to avoid mocking the dead. He wept because he would not be able to study Torah. He says be more afraid of G*d than what other people think. He can see more clearly than they can.
Anipoli: still without running water, Rabbi Hoffman was there when he went to the Ukraine.
The only choice a human being has at all is to fear Heaven.
Miriam taught us that G*d does not abandon us when we are outside the camp.
Shaddai: the world is balanced on a dime. Breast â weaning is the actions which balances suckling enough and not enough.
G*d gave us consequences out of His great compassion for us.
The other religion says that we worship a cruel G*d. We actually worship the G*d of love and compassion.
Regarding loshon hara: take risks, make mistakes. If you do not tell stories you will end up in a toxic place where there is no learning.